Coach Culpepper: Get Fast First

Speed work leads to better running economy. Photo: www.shutterstock.com

Benefits of Speed Workouts

Speed work leads to better running economy. As your body adapts to the increased pace, your overall mechanics adjust to become more efficient at foot strike and toe off. Also, speed work allows you to improve your overall efficiency when running at race pace.

– Adaptation to quicker paces leads to less energy expended at half- or full marathon race pace.
– Along with improved speed comes a greater margin of error on race day as it relates to race pace. Without the inclusion of speed work in your training schedule, you will not have much flexibility in terms of your race pace because you will have only trained your body to work within a small range.
– We all have a unique muscle makeup, which includes a combination of slow- and fast-twitch muscle fibers. Speed training works the full complement of your muscle makeup, which is important because come race day you will need every available fiber to be fully developed. As slow-twitch fibers fatigue in longer races, fast-twitch muscles are called into action in the later miles of the event.

RELATED: 5 Common Marathon Training Mistakes

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